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Land Rover Wheel Offsets Demystified: Impact on Wheel Track for Improved Performance

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Demystifying Wheel Offsets

As a 4WD enthusiast, you already know how new wheels can improve the look and performance of your vehicle. But do you understand wheel offsets and how they impact your wheel track? In this “Under 500 Series” post, we'll explain everything you need to know in plain English.

Wheel offset is the distance, measured in millimetres, between the wheel centreline and the mounting surface of the hub. A wheel with a positive offset means that the mounting surface is closer to the wheel’s outside edge, while a negative offset is closer to the wheels inside edge. It can be represented by 'ET' followed by a number, for example ET27 which means that the mounting surface is 27mm towards the wheel face from the wheel centreline.

Sidenote: ET is an abbreviation of the German word 'Einpresstiefe' which simply means 'offset'.

In terms of how this looks on your vehicle: the larger, more positive the offset, the closer the wheel will be mounted to the inside of your car. Conversely, the smaller, less positive the offset, the further the wheel will be mounted to the arch of your car with ET0 being dead-centre.

How Does Wheel Offset Affect Wheel Track?

The wheel track is the distance between the centreline of the two wheels on an axle. Changing the wheel offset changes the position of the wheel relative to the hub, which changes the wheel's position in the wheel arch, and thus, affects the wheel track.

For example, when upgrading the New Defender's wheels from the factory offset of ET41.5 to TuffAnt Kimberley wheels with offset ET29, the wheels move further out from the hub by 12.5mm, which increases the wheel track by 25mm giving your vehicle a wider track.

Australian Regulations for Wheel Track Change

In Australia, there are regulations governing wheel track changes for 4WD vehicles. The maximum allowable increase in wheel track is 50mm meaning you can change the wheel offset by 25mm.

Other Considerations

While staying within the Australian regulations is important, there are other factors to consider when selecting new wheels. Too large an offset can cause your wheels and tyres to sit too far inside the wheel arches, potentially damaging your suspension components and negatively impact your car's handling. On the other hand, too small an offset can cause your wheels and tyres to sit too far outside the wheel arches, resulting in a "poke" issue that may require you to fit wider wheel arches.

In summary, understanding wheel offsets is critical when upgrading your 4WD's wheels as changing the offset alters the wheel's position in the wheel arch, which affects the wheel track, and importantly there are regulations that govern allowable wheel track change.

If you're looking for high-quality 4WD wheels that comply with Australian regulations and provide great off-roadability and style, check out our TuffAnt range.

Have a topic you want us to cover in the Under 500 Series? Drop us a line by emailing

1 Comment

Informative post! Clear explanation of wheel offsets & their impact on track. Also appreciate the Australian regulations info.

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